The US has an estimated 5.5 million commercial buildings and another 350,000 industrial buildings.
Along with the millions of square feet of floor space also comes the many millions of square feet of roof surfaces.
Research shows that newer commercial buildings continue to get larger, meaning more roof space.
Any one of these commercial spaces, no matter their age, could experience a roof leaking and need emergency roof leak repair.
If you’re responsible for the care and maintenance of a commercial space, would you know what to do if you suddenly have an emergency roof leak?
Read on to learn more about what you should do if you suddenly have a leaking roof in your commercial space.
Types of Emergency Roof Damage
Most people assume that a roof leak starts when rain is abundant. That may be when you notice you have a leak. However, an emergency roof leak can develop anytime for several reasons.
Let’s look closely at some of the most common causes of roof damage and leaks.
Excessive water is often the culprit behind an emergency commercial roof leak. Whether from heavy rains over a prolonged period of time, a hurricane, or even snow damage, it ultimately creates a problem for the roof.
All the excessive water can seep through the most minor cracks and crevices over time.
Most roofing material offers some sort of fire prevention option. This includes:
- Roof trusses
This doesn’t mean that these roofing materials can withstand a blazing fire. When a commercial space has a fire, there will likely be a damaged roof that needs an emergency repair.
Storm or Wind Damage
Rainwater is not the only type of storm that can harm a commercial roof. Damage can occur to a roof from wind or storms like hail or snow.
These storms can weaken the structure of roof parts, causing them to leak and requiring emergency maintenance.
A new roof can be costly. The way to extend the life of any roof is with routine maintenance to ensure you don’t suddenly find your building with a roof leak.
Commercial buildings will change hands or end up vacant, and the routine care for the roof gets neglected. Over time, the neglect adds up and can lead to a surprise breach in the roof.
Nearby trees that lose a limb or fall during a storm can cause significant damage to the integrity of a commercial roof.
This is one type of damage you’d know the cause of and need to seek a roof leak repair, likely where the tree hit the roof.
Nearby tree limbs that scrape on a roof’s surface can also cause damage.
If you find your roof leaking and none of the other causes seem apparent, you may have a pest problem in your roof. If pests can get to your roof from nearby trees, they will cause damage, too.
There’s a whole host of critters who can harm roofing surfaces, including:
The less access the critters have to your roof, the less likely they can cause damage. Keep nearby trees trimmed so they don’t work as a ladder and have easy access to your roof for any number of animal pests.
All roofs and attic spaces under a roof need proper ventilation. You’ll notice most roofs with roof vents to keep air moving in an attic room.
Without the proper ventilation on a commercial roof, mold can develop and cause damage over time.
If you suspect you have a mold issue, you need mold remediation help and emergency roofing repair for the damage the mold caused.
Not all commercial roofs come with gutter systems. Yet, if the commercial roof has gutters, they must be cleaned out regularly.
Gutters that don’t get cleaned can start to sag. This can cause water to back onto the roof or create a place for mold to grow.
Emergency Roof Repair, What to Do
If any of these things have occurred on your commercial roof, and now you’re dealing with a leaky roof, you must know how to respond.
Let’s take a look at the steps you should take to address your emergency leak.
1. Contact a Roofing Professional
The reality is that the first thing you should do is contact a professional roofer who specializes in commercial roofing. You aren’t likely to be able to fix the roof yourself anyway.
The quicker you can get a professional on-site, the better. The roofer will also be a better gauge if the roof surface is even safe to be on.
2. Minimize Indoor Damage
One thing you can do to lessen the impact of the leak is work to minimize indoor damage. This means you clean up any water you’re finding inside. Get buckets to catch the water so standing water doesn’t cause more damage.
3. Identify the Source of the Leak
The source of the leak may be obvious or may not. If you have a considerable tree limb across the roof, you can assume that’s the cause of the problem.
However, you might suddenly have water coming inside, and there’s no obvious event that caused it. This is where getting a professional up on your roof is so important. They can do a complete inspection to determine your issue’s source.
4. Method for Patching the Leak
You can often place a tarp over a leak until you can arrange a repair. You should never go up on a roof if there’s a question about the integrity of the roof. Wait for a pro to come in and provide a temporary solution.
5. Get Estimates from the Pros
Consider a long-term solution once you’ve got a temporary fix for the roof problem. You’ll need estimates to know if the roof can be repaired or needs to be replaced.
It always makes sense to compare the ideas of multiple roofing contractors to ensure you’re getting the best service for your roof.
Get the Help You Need for Your Emergency Roof Leak Repair
An emergency roof leak repair is never a nice thing to face for your commercial space. The roof leak can cause damage both inside and outside of your building.
Calling a professional commercial roofer can quickly help identify the source of the problem so that you can consider your repair options. Contact us if you’re facing a roof emergency so that we can solve your commercial roof issue.